Iran has begun to design its first nuclear submarine, a semi-official news agency in the country has reported.
Deputy navy chief in charge of technical affairs Admiral Abbas Zamini was quoted as saying Iran has begun “initial stages” of designing the nuclear-powered craft.
Admiral Zamini said Iran has developed “peaceful nuclear technology” and has both the capability and the right to build a submarine.
Iran and the West are at odds over Tehran's nuclear programme.
The US suspects it is aimed at developing weapons technology - a charge that Iran denies.
Iran has built several small submarines. It recently overhauled one of the three non-nuclear Russian Kilo-class submarines it bought in 1990s.